Four people were injured in Lancaster early Monday afternoon when a football goal post being moved touched an overhead electrical wire, school and police officials said.
The incident happened on an athletic field behind Lancaster High School, where a football camp for players of high-school age and older was held last weekend.
The camp was not in session Monday, but a metal goal post on wheels was being moved at about 12:45 p.m. when it struck the overhead transmission line and injured four people, Lancaster Police Chief Gerald J. Gill Jr. said.
It is possible the goal post incident sparked a power outage that affected about 1,000 New York State Electric & Gas customers in the Lancaster area, beginning at 12:45 p.m., said NYSEG spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick. Utility crews responded to the high school and shut off electricity to the affected line to allow Bowmansville volunteer firefighters to work at the scene. Power was restored one hour later, Chadwick said.
Police identified the victims as 15- and 18-year-old male from Lancaster; an Amherst youth, 17; and a Getzville man, 28. One victim was taken to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo; the rest went to Erie County Medical Center.
“If it wasn’t for the amazingly rapid response from our community heroes, this story could have had a much different ending,” Lancaster School Superintendent Michael J. Vallely said at a news conference.
Vallely, who took over as the district’s superintendent Monday, said he did not know who was moving the goal post or why they were moving the equipment.
But Vallely said district officials do not believe the goal post had been moved from its home field since the high school field house was built in 1999.
District officials closed the athletic fields area for the rest of Monday and will decide today when to reopen the fields.